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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Vintage, But Not Old

The May Day Bank Holiday weekend, and what a better start than visiting a vintage carnival, that was taking place today at Nottingham's racecourse.

We got there slightly later than expected, and so a few of the exhibitors had left by the time we had got there and there wasn't as many people around as I would have liked. But I suppose one bonus was that it was easier to take photos, without people blocking or walking in front of my camera as I was ready to press the button.

There were a number of those big American cars on show, together with stalls selling clothes, bric a brac and food. Naturally at these events, people had taken the trouble to dress up in the period, which seemed to be mainly the 1950s and the birth of rock n roll.

When we got there a live band was playing period music, and plenty of people were jitterbugging and bopping to those old songs from the post war era and the beginning of the teenage revolution.

I of course was busy with my camera, seeing it I could find interesting people and things to take. Whilst walking around, I noticed that a young lad was giving his girlfriend a piggyback ride. I wondered whether they would be passing my way. So I got ready, just in case they did. And yes, as you can see they did. She was obviously enjoying herself in not having to walk, but by the expression on his face, I think he was finding it a bit of a struggle.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Taxi McTaxiface

Here's a very happy looking taxi. With a smile that's on par with Yashika's from yesterday.  I bet he is driven well and obeys the rules of the road, unlike many real taxis.

I saw him in the window of the children's clothes shop, that usually do very good themed window displays, and couldn't resist taking a photo.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

A Welcoming Smile

Say hello to Yashika. I met her today while I visited the Calcutta Club, a curry restaurant situated in the city centre. In fact there are a number of curry houses in the same area. The Calcutta Club has one each side. Then there are another two around the corner.

I went there to take some photos of a friend's lunch party, and I was met by this smiling and happy lady when I walked through the door. She said hi, and took my jacket. I saw my friend and the people that he had invited for his lunch.

While I was taking photos of the guests, I thought I would take a couple of shots of Yashika as well. As I always enjoy taking photos of people, and she does have quite an infectious smile.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Question Time

TV reporter Dominic Littlewood was in town tonight, asking people about what they thought of terms and conditions set out by companies.

Are they fair for the consumer, or stacked towards the company?

Fortunately he didn't ask me, as I wouldn't really know what to say, except I think they are   created for the firm's benefit. Non cancellable hotel rooms. A very short time to return items.

At least with laws like the Sale of Goods Act, consumers do get some protection. But sometimes even that can go wrong.

I was planning to go somewhere tonight, and was heading that way, when I had a change of mind, and decided not to go. While I was walking across the Old Market Square, I saw a small crowd of people. So I thought to myself, what's going on. So I headed towards the people and realised that there was some filming going on. I wondered if it was Notts TV, as they are always out and about. But no, it was a familiar face from the TV. Although I sometimes get him mixed up with comedian Andy Parsons.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Blast It

For the past couple of months, the big water feature in the Old Market Square has been surrounded by eight foot tall wooden panels, whilst some remedial work on it has gone ahead. I heard that it has been leaking water for some time, but they've only just got around to repairing it.

Walking across today, I noticed that the panelling has been taken away, although it is still fenced off. But now you can see what the workmen are up to. I saw this guy cleaning part of it with a pressure washer.

I believe it is going to be reopened early next month. So people will once again be able to have a paddle, or watch the water flowing over it. Although I do miss the old fountains that used to be in there. Especially when someone squirted a bit of washing up liquid in, and there used to be soapy bubbles everywhere!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Bird's Eye View

Whilst cycling on the way home through Highfields, I saw this shape wading through the stream. I couldn't make out what it was at first. So I got off my bike, and slowly and very quietly crept up to a nearby tree and waited to see what would appear.

I waited a few minutes and could see that it was a heron. A bird that I had not seen in the park before. As it started to walk away, I very quietly followed it, whilst getting my camera ready to try and take a photo or two of it before it flew away.

There are quite a few trees along there, so I managed to move to one closer without disturbing him.  I managed to take a photo or two, before it spread it's large wings and flew off in the direction of the Lakeside Arts Centre.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wherever I Lay My Cat, That's My Home

Gail and I are currently moving some furniture around in our house and doing a bit of a spring clean.

Oscar though wasn't too impressed, as he had lost (for now) one of his usual napping places.

Still, it didn't take him that long to find another. Our upside down pouffe to be precise. So it seems that a cat can sleep just about anywhere.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Love Me, Love My Docs

In recent years Dr Martens boots have become quite a style icon, with both men and women. You can always see people wearing them around town. Maybe every seventh or eighth person will have a pair on. Usually either in black or brown and with of course the famous bouncy sole.

I at the moment don't own a pair, as I'm basically put off with the idea that you have suffer with blisters on your feet for a while, while they are broken in. But they are meant to be very comfortable after that, and you don't realise that you have anything on your feet.

It looks like this girl in the Old Market Square has bought herself a pair recently from the store round the corner, and still uses her special cloth bag that they come in. Even more so, now that shops charge 5p for one of their plastic carrier bags.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Gone In A Puff Of Smoke

I've never been a fan of cigarettes. I tried one at 16, couldn't see the point of it and so have never touched them since.

Whilst I was chatting to a fellow photographer tonight by the left lion in the Old Market Square, when this woman came up and stood on the other side of the granite figure.

Whilst we were chatting, I had my camera out, waiting to see if any interesting characters would be walking by. Looking round, I could see that this woman had just lit a cigarette, whilst she was waiting for someone. A date perhaps, as that is what the Left Lion is most famous for.

I watched for a minute or so, to see if she was going to have a puff. She did, so I just managed to get a shot whilst she was exhaling the smoke.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Papering Over The Cracks

A day off work today, as a photographer I know called Theresa was flying over for the day from Dublin to visit Beeston for the first time and a see a friend called Marysia that we both know.

We all met up at L'Oliva's cafe on the High Road, and had a good chat over a drink and some food. A little later we went for a walk down at the marina in the afternoon sunshine. Chatting and taking photos. Marysia had her dog Tag with her, who is a bit of a star on LinkedIn.

At the side of the lock keeper's cottage, there is an old building that has been derelict for a number of years now, but recently some funding has been received so it can be renovated and eventually will be turned into a educational centre, with a cafe and allotment.

Marysia is involved in the project and so she started taking to one of the men that was working on the site. He asked us if we wanted to have a look around, and as it is usually off limits to the general public, we all of course said yes.

And so we spent some time walking around the grounds and taking photos. We also went inside the building, which was a in varying states of rebuild. Upstairs were the bedrooms. One was obviously for a child, as the walls were still covered in Care Bears wallpaper. So obviously it hadn't been touched since the 1980s. Another room had had a lot of wallpaper removed. But a couple of walls still had paper on them. Some stripping had taken place to reveal this Chinese or Japanese design from I would say the 1950s.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Daisy, Daisy

A simple shot today of a daisy growing in the spring sunshine, during my cycle ride on my way home through Highfields.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hello Ducky

Here's one of the Highfields' ducks enjoying a bit of sunbathing in the late afternoon sunshine.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Water Works

I was pleased to see that the waterfall in Highfields is working again. It seems to have been out of action for ages. Maybe a year or so.

I had to make do with a side shot, as the people that look after the park have locked the gates to the stepping stones. Apparently some improvement works are going to take place, and they have shut them in preperation.

Tried a slow shutter speed, so I could get that milky look of the water.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

It Takes One To Know One

I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing a fellow photographer yesterday, who has recently opened a studio in Beeston, in an former flour mill.

It's a lovely big airy and light space, that's just been painted white. Including the floor. There are lots of windows each side, which haven't been obscured with blinds or curtains.

Sian opened the studio earlier this year whilst still studying photography at university, although she does already know how to use a camera properly. This is more to do with the history of photography.

Once she finishes her course, Sian will be able to concentrate on her business more and make use of this excellent studio space. One which I hope to use somehow in the near future.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Please Dad, Can I Have Some More?

The baby moorhens are doing well and have all taken to the water now, and getting used to moving about.

Their parents a re busy looking for food for them, and I caught one of the chicks being passed some bread by his dad, even though I read somewhere that you are not supposed to feed bread to birds, as it expands in their stomach and they can't eat anything else for a while, which means that they may get very hungry.

Friday, 15 April 2016


I had a bit of luck this week in winning a couple of tickets to see an Abba tribute band at Mansfield's Palace Theatre.

It was quite strange how I won them too. I went on the theatre's Facebook page to make a complaint about their on-line booking form, and saw the competition. It simply asked in which year did Abba win Eurovision. Being an Abba fan, I obviously knew that it was 1974. I also noticed that no one had answered, even though the posting had been up for a few hours.

The theatre was packed with people of all ages, and by about the third song, people were either on their feet dancing, or sitting down clapping and singing along. Even I was singing to some of the songs, as I knew most of the words.

The band also joked with the audience, in a cod Swedish accent. Although, like the real Benny, the pretend one didn't say that much either! Their costumes looked quite authentic. They had a live drummer, but I think they also used a backing track on some of the songs.

On the whole it was a very enjoyable evening, and probably the nearest thing to the genuine Abba that anyone will get to see, as Agnatha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Freid have no intention of every playing together again.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

New Life

I pass along the canal each day to work, and for the last couple of weeks I have been watching a moorhen sitting on a nest, that has been made by her hubby.

Then yesterday I noticed that they had become parents, which three little chicks hopping around the nest, or dipping their feet in the water.

So nice to see. And I hope to take some more shots when they are swimming along as a family.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


It was a lovely sunny cycle ride home today. Spring has definitely arrived.

Being so warm that I stopped and had an ice cream, whilst I watched the joggers, rowers and more students doing selfies by the blossom.

I stopped off in various places along my route to take the odd photo. I crouched and watched this hunting along the bank for food. I followed it for a little while. It was slowly making it's way to a part that had been made into a sort of landing stage area. So I lowered my camera and shot this while he popped his head up, as if to say "Have you got any bread for me or not?".

Sadly I didn't, and so he flounced off in a bit of a huff, looking out for the next possible supplier of food.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Some late afternoon sun reflected on the water of Highfields' lake.

A great afternoon to cycle though one of my favourite parks.

Monday, 11 April 2016

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Isn't he cute? I spotted him in a shop window the other day.

He must be Scottish, as he is made from tartan.

I wonder what his name is. Scotty McScottyface perhaps?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Artistic Interpretation

One of the delightful aspects of the Olympus EM-1, is the variety of art filters that are built in to use.

There are some good filters that I use all the time, like the sepia one, and others that I have hardly ever used.

This photo of the Lakeside Arts Centre has been taken using the 'watercolour' filter. And as the name implies, the photo is meant to look like it was painted.

I'm not sure whether it works or not. But it's something different for a late sunny afternoon.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

No Blues In The Pottle

Beeston welcomed it's first new pub in a long, long time today, and what makes A Pottle of Blues extra special, is the fact that it is a micro pub. It opened at lunchtime today, and I believe I was the first paying customer, with someone I know quite well being the second.

The pub is a based in a former shop, just of the high road, and I have been following it's progress, both on line, and in person, when I've been on my way to Sainsbury's. Being a micro pub, it's if course not that big, but has some quirky features, like the bar being made out of an old piano.

I found out that a pottle is a container that is big enough to hold half a gallon of liquid. It is also the maiden name of the co-owner Jen, while her husband Ralph plays in a blues band. Hence the unusual name and the musical theme.

I took Gail along tonight to show her what it was like, and to see how busy they were. The place was really buzzing when we got there. Someone we know called Matt was sitting with a drink, so we sat with him and chatted about the pub and how good it is for Beeston, especially as so many pubs are currently closing around the country.

They have a small selection of real ales, fruit ciders and wines. We stayed for a while longer, then went to a local pizza place called Poppa's Pizzas and bought a couple of 8 inches to take home and enjoy whilst surfing the net.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Feeling Ruff

Poor Oscar. He doesn't look that pleased with the tutu that Gail put on him as a bit of fun.

He walked around the house trying to get it off him. He wouldn't keep still long enough for me to get a good shot, so sadly he is a little blurred in places.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Deutscher Girls

As it was sunny this evening I decided to take a ride through Highfields again.

There was of course several students taking photos and selfies with the cherry blossom.

I noticed these two girls standing on a concrete plinth taking selfies of themselves.  So grabbing my camera, I took a couple of candid shots.

They then noticed me and started to laugh. They hopped down from the plinth and I asked them if they fancied having their photo taken. They agreed, and we did a mini photoshoot under the blossom.

They were German students and asked if I could send them some. Of course I promised. Which I have duly done.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Artist At Work

There's a new exhibition on at the moment at the Contemporary, featuring the work of artist Simon Starling.

Simon actually studied in Nottingham some thirty years ago, but I don't think he lives here anymore.

There are a number of large scale exhibits to see, including some giant silver shapes, a load of black balls of different sizes positioned to make a design, and a large canoe that has been created from magnesium, obtained from the Dead Sea.

Although the exhibits were interesting to look at, I was more intrigued by this collected o old paint pots. They are part of a bigger piece, but I think they look good as a still life.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday

I bet you can all remember the 1960s film called Summer Holiday, which starred Cliff Richard and Una Stubbs?  The one where they converted an old London bus into a motorhome and drove it to Paris, and had adventures on the way.

So I was intrigued to see this old London bus parked in the Old Market Square promoting Virgin Holidays. What's even more intriguing is the fact that it has been painted a torquoise blue, rather than in the usual Virgin corporate colours of red and white.

Maybe if they had had done it in red and white, then it would still be mistaken for a London bus, and people would be holding their arms out at bus stops, as it went by!

Monday, 4 April 2016

She's A Model And She's Looking Good

Passing through BHS (British Home Stores) in Broadmarsh the other day, I noticed this girl dressed in a vintage dress with colourful tattoos. I then realised that she worked for the company and her name was Claire. The name badge gives it away!

I also realised that she was wearing one of the dresses that the store were selling. So I started chatting to her and saying what a good idea it was to have an actual live person showing the dress off, catwalk style, rather than using a mannequin.

Naturally I had my camera with me, so I got her to pose for me. Thanks again Claire.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

What A Load Of Rubbish

There is a rather controversial advertising campaign going on at the moment in Nottingham. The city council have produced a number of posters warning people about giving money to beggars, as they believe it will be spent on drugs, drink or somehow fund criminal activity.

But the posters have not been very popular in some quarters, as they have said that it demonises the homeless, and they should be helped, not criticised. There have been calls for them to be removed. An on-line petition has been created, for people to sign.

Nottingham's version of Banksy is called Questionmarc, and they have altered the posters with their own wording, which the council don't like and have quickly got them removed.

Bizarrely enough, one of the posters has appeared on EBay, and has fetched £3200. Apparently the money raised will go to help Nottingham's homeless.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

He Let His Fingers Do The Walking

This is Japanese musician Anchorsong, who I went to see tonight at the Nottingham Contemporary.

Besides using a Korg synth, most of his music was created through Akai & Yamaha rhythm machines.

I wasn't sure what to expect, as haven't heard of him before, but being a fan of electronic music, I thought I would pop along and see what music he would be creating. Most of it was through pressing buttons and turning knobs. It was interesting to watch, and he was pretty quick tapping away with his fingers.

There were a lot of people there, bopping along to his unique brand of music. I recorded a couple of his songs on my camera, and have uploaded it to YouTube, so you can all enjoy it. Here is the link Anchorsong.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Posing Pooch

I bumped into a photographer from Peterborough in the Old Market Square today. He was here for a bit of street photography. He had one of the large Nikon models in his hand, so I knew that he wasn't really a tourist in the general sense of the word.

We had a chat and we parted. Strangely enough somehow we both ended up looking in the window of a local second hand shop, even though we went off in separate directions.

So we ended up having another chat about photography. Then I saw this dog tied up outside this shop, and took a photo or two. Just as I managed to get a good shot, the owner untied her and they walked off.  So we then mentioned about getting the shot and missed opportunities.